Painting with Grace: Ludington Woman’s Mission to Bring Hope to Ukrainian Refugees

Grace Hillyard is living in Ludington, but she knows all too well what it feels like to want to go back to the place you used to call home…

“I stayed in an orphanage over in Ukraine, Kharkiv for about a year. And I was adopted into a very loving Christian home,” says Hillyard. Painting 1

Still, so many Ukrainians are being displaced from their homes and forced to move into refugee camps in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova—

She says, “Right now, I kind of look around and people have forgotten about the war. The war is still going on, lives are still being lost, lives are being affected. There’s still Ukrainians here in the us, we are still affected by the war because that’s our home, that’s our country.”

She was looking for a way to bring them a sense of peace — with art– All the way from her home in Michigan.

Painting 2Painting beautiful portraits that represent the Ukrainian people.

And with each brush stroke, she created a connection to the individuals she painted. Stating, “Those are my people over there in Ukraine. Working on his paintings, it made me feel a part of the heritage and it made me feel proud to be Ukrainian.”

Now, each of these paintings are a part of a silent auction Hillyard put together with help from STIX Bar and Restaurant in Ludington. The goal–to raise money for a trip to go teach art to Ukrainian refugees.

Hillyard explains, “We’ll be stopping at different refugee camps, we’re going to hopefully buy the art supplies there. I heard it’s cheaper there, so we will be able to get a bigger amount of art supplies for way less.”

Hillyard’s silent auction will be happening until Thursday September 8th.

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